Microchip Rolls Out PIC24 16-bit PIC Microcontrollers

10/12/2005 - Microchip Technology Inc., a leading provider of microcontroller and analog semiconductors, announced its first family of 16-bit PIC® microcontrollers, the PIC24, to address the growing performance needs of embedded designers. The PIC24 16-bit microcontroller family debuts with 22 general-purpose devices and offers up to 40 MIPS performance, 16 Kbytes of RAM and 256 Kbytes of Flash program memory, and up to 100-pin packages. The PIC24 maintains compatibility with Microchip's universal MPLAB® Integrated Development Environment (IDE) development-tool platform and software compatibility with all dsPIC® digital signal controllers for a simplified upward migration path.

The PIC24 Family is comprised of two series. The PIC24F offers a cost-effective step up in performance, memory and peripherals for many applications that are pushing the envelope of 8-bit microcontroller capabilities. For more demanding applications, the PIC24H offers 40 MIPS performance, more memory and additional peripherals, such as CAN communication modules.

Design engineers are faced with the ever-growing challenge to meet market demands for increased performance and features at a fast pace, while hitting design-to-cost goals. The new PIC24 cost-effectively provides a step up in performance, memory size (Flash and RAM), pin counts and peripherals. The PIC24 delivers increased performance without sacrificing the architecture attributes that embedded designers require, including interrupt flexibility and responsiveness, code execution predictability, easy I/O manipulation, C code efficiency and system integrity.

"Meeting the design challenges that customers face is the primary objective of the PIC24 family," said Mitch Obolsky, vice president of Microchip's Advanced Microcontroller Architecture Division. "Just as we have in the 8-bit microcontroller arena, we plan to rapidly expand the 16-bit PIC24 family to meet our customers' ever-growing needs."

"Today, we're announcing over 20 PIC24 family members plus nearly 30 dsPIC33 products in our dsPIC digital signal controller family," Obolsky added.

As with all Microchip microcontroller families, the PIC24 is designed to meet a wide range of design engineering needs across a broad spectrum of industries. Specific application examples include: consumer (security-system control panel, handheld remote control); communications (optical network components); instrumentation/measurement (hand-held and remote terminals, POS terminals, medical instruments and monitoring); industrial (factory automation systems, building monitor-and-control systems, security/access systems, office automation).

"We've used the PIC18 8-bit family in many of our designs. For our new platform, we needed larger program memory and RAM as well as a performance increase. The PIC24 meets these needs and, most importantly, provides a roadmap as our application requirements grow," said Brad Scoggins, president of Austin Manufacturing Services. "Plus, because Microchip's 8- and 16-bit microcontroller families are both compatible with their MPLAB development tools, we incurred no additional cost or learning curve."

Additional key features include:

Development Tools and Availability
In addition to being compatible with the MPLAB IDE, the PIC24 family is supported by existing Microchip development tools such as the MPLAB C30 C compiler, an emulator and the MPLAB PM3 universal device programmer. Microchip also created the Explorer 16 Development board in support of all 16-bit PIC24 microcontrollers and 16-bit dsPIC digital signal controllers. The Explorer 16 (part #DM240001) is expected to be available in November for $129.99. Finally, third-party support for the PIC24 family is planned for calendar Q4 2005, including Hi Tech's C compiler, and a programmer from DATA I/O.

Selected members of the new PIC24F family are available today for early-adopter sampling. General sampling for all 22 of the PIC24F and PIC24H microcontrollers is expected to begin in calendar Q1 2006, and volume production is planned to start in calendar Q2 2006. For additional information, contact any Microchip sales representative or authorized worldwide distributor, or visit Microchip's Web site at www.microchip.com/16bit.

About Microchip Technology
Microchip Technology Inc. (NASDAQ: MCHP) is a leading provider of microcontroller and analog semiconductors, providing low-risk product development, lower total system cost and faster time to market for thousands of diverse customer applications worldwide. Headquartered in Chandler, Arizona, Microchip offers outstanding technical support along with dependable delivery and quality.

The Microchip name and logo, PIC, dsPIC, and MPLAB are registered trademarks of Microchip Technology Inc. in the USA and other countries. SPI is a trademark of Motorola Inc. I2C is a trademark of Philips Corporation.

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